New Course in JSM Administration

It’s always been true that nothing wins hearts and minds like good service. Providing good service is more important now than ever before. Customers expect support to be fast, accurate and easy to access. Service teams are required to develop efficient ways to serve internal and external customers, regardless of location. Many teams are now looking to Jira Service Management (JSM) as a solution.

My new Jira Service Management: Administration course will help you understand the unique features that JSM adds to Jira, how JSM can be used for ITSM processes, and how JSM differs between Jira Cloud and Jira Server/Data Center deployments. Most importantly, the class will show how you can configure and administer JSM to provide the best possible service to your customers. 

Jira Service Management: Administration course

Whether you’re completely new to Jira, or an experienced project or application administrator, you’ll be able to configure JSM so customers can create requests, support agents can provide the help needed, and leadership can measure effectiveness.

What You’ll Learn in Jira Service Management: Administration

  • The difference between an issue and a request
  • How to use the features of the customer portal
  • How to configure an effective, user-friendly request screen
  • Additional user types specific to JSM
  • Ways that service project workflows differ from other workflows
  • How to set up approvals
  • ITSM issue types in JSM
  • Configuring SLAs to measure service team performance
  • How to organize service queues
  • How to reduce request tickets with a Confluence knowledge base
  • Ways to reduce work with automation
  • How to use JSM reports and measure customer satisfaction

As always, the course will include in-depth explanations, demonstrations, challenges to build/configure in your own JSM instance and quizzes to help you remember what you’ve learned.

Whether your focused on empowering your IT service team, or wanting to expand JSM to other teams in your organization (JSM is great for HR, Legal, and Facilities teams), this course will show you how to leverage JSM’s features so teams can provide exceptional service and support.

Take the course on LinkedIn now.

Not a LinkedIn Learning member yet? Start your 30 day LinkedIn Learning free trial! Access to my courses and others is included with your Premium subscription!

Rachel Wright’s Jira Courses on LinkedIn

Advanced Jira Administration: Getting into the Scheme of Things

A practical example for a development project

Let’s say you create specific Jira issue types because you want to collect a different data set for each type, and because want the different issue types to use different workflows. So what do you do next? How do you tell Jira what information to collect for each issue type? Should you create screens or a field configuration scheme first? What’s the difference between an issue type scheme and an issue type screen scheme? How do you associate an issue type with a workflow?

Understanding Jira schemes and how they interact with each other is one of the most important, and most challenging parts of Jira administration. My new Advanced Jira Administration course will help you understand:

  • The nine different Jira schemes and what each one does
  • Where to find the schemes used by a given project
  • The hierarchal relationship between screen schemes and issue type screen schemes
  • The correct order for creating screens, screen schemes and issue type screen schemes
  • How to remove a screen, screen scheme or issue type screen scheme
  • How to share schemes across multiple projects
  • When and how to create custom schemes
  • And much more
The course contains challenges, quizzes, downloadable handouts, and personal stories.

In this course, we’ll discuss real-life Jira scheme examples, areas where it’s easy to go wrong, and best practices for creating and managing schemes. The course includes clear explanations, demonstrations, and challenges (with solutions!) to try in your Jira application.

Once you understand Jira schemes you’ll have the keys to unlock Jira efficiency and scaleability.

Rachel Wright’s Jira Courses on LinkedIn

Not a LinkedIn Learning member yet? Start your 30 day LinkedIn Learning free trial! Access to my courses and others is included with your Premium subscription!

New Course – Jira: Advanced Administration

Jira: Advanced Administration with Rachel Wright
Take “Jira: Advanced Administration” with Rachel Wright

Life is short. Jira is complex. There simply isn’t time to make all of the mistakes and learn everything you need to know by trial and error. I’ve compiled over eight years of lessons learned in my Jira Basic and Advanced Administration courses. The advanced course is available now on LinkedIn! It will help you navigate the complexities of Jira and find the right balance between user support and application functionality. Take this course to correctly configure your application and make sure it stays clean, manageable, and flexible.

Course Structure

The Jira: Advanced Administration course picks up where the Jira: Basic Administration course leaves off. The advanced course is designed to help you understand and internalize Jira concepts by including:

  • Real world examples of what to do, and what not to do taken from my personal experience
  • Explanations of the latest Jira jargon (ie. Company-managed projects vs team-managed projects)
  • Tips and best practices
  • Demonstrations
  • Challenges that you can try in your own Jira application
  • Quizzes to ensure understanding and build your confidence
  • Handouts
  • And more

While the examples used in the course are from Jira Software, the lessons can also be applied to Jira Service Management and Jira Work Management projects. All deployment types (Cloud, Server, and Data Center) are included.

Course Content

The course takes a deep dive into topics such as configuring global permissions, understanding scheme hierarchy, creating custom schemes and custom workflows, managing project settings, working with groups and roles, and controlling access to information.  

Your job as a Jira administrator is to give your teams the functionality they need and ensure the long term health of your Jira application. We’ll discuss when and how to make customizations and how to choose from the thousands of available Jira apps and extensions.

Finally, we’ll also look at advanced Jira features such as creating issues from email and issue collectors, importing data into your Jira instance, and streamlining process with automation.

Knowing the best way to solve a problem and how it will impact your application in the future is the difference between a good Jira administrator and a great one. If you’re a newly minted Administrator, an experienced JA looking for guidance on taming an overgrown Jira instance, or a determined perfectionist who’s trying to set things up right the first time – then this course is for you!

Rachel Wright’s Jira Courses on LinkedIn

Not a LinkedIn Learning member yet? Start your 30 day LinkedIn Learning free trial! Access to my courses and others is included with your Premium subscription!

Coming Soon – Jira: Advanced Administration

My new Jira: Advanced Administration course is now available! Take the course on LinkedIn now.

Not a LinkedIn Learning member yet? Start your 30 day LinkedIn Learning free trial! Access to my courses and others is included with your Premium subscription!

About the Course

Jira is the industry standard for tracking work, tasks, and strategic company initiatives.  The software is infinitely flexible and customizable, which is both a blessing and a curse.  The goal of the Jira administrator should be to configure application settings to support the needs of the organization and ensure the health of the application in the future.  This requires an intimate understanding of Jira’s capabilities, global options, and scheme configuration.

In this advanced Jira administration course, you’ll learn:

  • The most important configuration options like general settings and global permissions
  • How schemes work together to power Jira projects
  • How to create custom projects, issue types, workflows, screens, and custom fields
  • How to manage project-specific settings like components and versions
  • Working with groups and roles for easy user management
  • How to restrict access and share information with permission, issue security, and notification schemes
  • Ways to extend Jira with apps, connections, and integrations
  • Advanced features like importing data, creating issues from email, adding custom events, and automation
  • And more

“Knowing the best way to solve a problem and how it will impact your application in the future is the difference between a good administrator and a great one.”
– Rachel Wright

Podcast: Jira Clean up with Rachel Wright

“The way you should implement new things in Jira is to think about how you’ll report on those things. Always start with reporting needs and work backward.”

Join Rachel Wright and Manuel Pattyn from iDalko, a Platinum Atlassian Solution Partner, as we discuss Jira clean up. In this episode of the
Atlassian.FM podcast, we cover how to start a Jira clean up, common pitfalls to avoid, and how to overcome common challenges like too many admins, customizations, or competing ideas.

Listen in podcast format or read the written transcript on the iDalko website.

Clean Up Help
Need help cleaning up your Atlassian products? Complete the form below and we'll get right back to you.

New Course: Learning Jira (Server Edition)

How do you track your work? As organizations continue to adopt digital technology, more and more teams are leveraging Jira! By learning Jira you’ll be able to easily manage your own daily tasks and help your organization plan their strategic initiatives.

I’ve used Jira since 2011 and it’s the best application I’ve found to manage my work.  Join my LinkedIn Learning course to understand Jira fundamentals and how you can leverage this software to tame your never-ending “to do” list.

Not a LinkedIn Learning member yet? Start your 30 day LinkedIn Learning free trial! Access to my courses and others is included with your Premium subscription!

Rachel Wright’s Jira Courses on LinkedIn

Use Jira Cloud instead?

New Jira Basic Administration Course

For every Jira application there’s an administrator that needs to correctly configure settings, manage users, complete customization requests, and ensure the instance supports growth and change in their organization.

But how do you learn to do that?

Take my new course! Jira: Basic Administration is perfect for new Jira admins or anyone who could use a refresher on the top skills every administrator needs.

This course includes the top 5 things every Jira admin needs to know like: adding users, creating projects, editing workflows, and troubleshooting common permission and notification problems.

You’ll learn:

  • how to use Jira,
  • which application type you have,
  • the responsibilities of an administrator,
  • how to access the most used admin areas, and
  • how to set up a test environment so you can experiment without impacting production data.

Take my Jira admin course on LinkedIn. Access is included with your Premium subscription! Not a member yet? Start your 30 day LinkedIn Learning free trial

Rachel Wright’s Jira Courses on LinkedIn

Tips for Creating Good Jira Forms and Screens

Now that you know why good form design is important and how to ask good questions, here are some quick ways to improve Jira screens and Jira Service Desk request forms.

Jira

Use these easy field tips in Jira.

1. Limit fields on the Create screen

When you create a project, Jira automatically creates screens and schemes for it. A “Kanban Default Issue Screen” includes 14 fields! By the time you’ve added additional custom fields, screens are often long and cumbersome. Just because info is needed, doesn’t mean it’s needed at the same time the issue is created. Group your fields into the following categories:

  • information needed immediately (Ex: Description and Requested date),
  • information needed later in the workflow (Ex: Estimate and Due date),
  • and information needed before an issue is completed (Ex: Time tracking and Root Cause).
Fields for a Simple Create Screen

Only show fields in the first category on the “Create” screen. Fewer fields make issues easier to create, especially for non-technical users.

Also only ask for information the creator can immediately provide. For example, if the creator isn’t the person who calculates the estimate or determines the release date, omit those fields. You can collect that information, during a scheduling process, later in the workflow.

If you have “Edit” and “View” screens, include all the relevant fields, so info is easy to update at any time. Usually these actions can share the same screen but sometimes they are different.  Example:  A field has a value but editing it is not desired.  In this case, the “View” screen shows the field but the “Edit” screen does not.  As a reminder, for Jira Cloud Next-gen projects, there’s just one screen per project or per issue type and no distinction between the create, edit, and view operations.  

2. Use tabs to group similar fields

If there are many fields, use the “tabs” feature to group them. In the screenshot, all user picker fields are together in the “People” tab and all date and version fields are in the “Internal” tab.

Two Custom Tabs on a Screen

3. Collect additional information during the workflow

Determine when in the workflow other fields should be completed. For example, fields like “Assignee”, “Due date”, and “Original Estimate” should be filled before an issue reaches the “In Progress” status. Use a workflow transition screen, and validators, to require entry. If you’re using ProForma, you can create separate forms to collect information at different times in the workflow.

4. Order fields strategically

List fields in the order the user is likely to supply the information. Place more important fields at the top.

Always place the “Priority” field before a “Requested” date field.  It may help set realistic expectations to ask for the importance before the date.

5. Order fields consistently

Use a consistent field order for all issue types and projects. Users expect and appreciate a standard.

6. Only create fields that are reported on

Don’t show unnecessary fields, collect information you won’t use, or create custom fields that aren’t queried. Instead, use the standard “Description” and “Comment” fields and train users what information to provide.

7. Utilize best practices and standard web form conventions

When creating screens, be aware of the web and application standard conventions that users expect. Here are some tips for effective and useful web forms.

  • Don’t ask too many questions
    Only ask for information you’ll use.  For example, if you plan to respond to issues via email, only ask for an email address (not an email address, a phone number, and a mailing address.)  If you already have the reporter’s email address on file, don’t ask them to type it. Short web forms are more likely to be completed.  Users dislike providing many ways for you to contact (aka spam, annoy) them.
  • Ask specific questions
    Use field descriptions to ask the user for specific information or to provide formatting instructions.  Asking a specific question gives you better information than a blank or “Enter your message here” description.  Examples: “What software do you need installed?” or “What is the expected result of the defect?” 
  • If a field has validation requirements, tell the user exactly what to enter
    Give clear and easy to understand directions.  Don’t wait for a user to enter data incorrectly before providing them with formatting instructions.  For example, tell the user to enter their phone number in the format: ###-###-#### rather than provide the vague error “Please enter a valid phone number.
  • Confirm successful submissions
    After a user clicks the submit button, there should be a confirmation that the message was received or an error message if there were any problems. Jira handles this functionality by default.
  • Post and adhere to your privacy policy
    Any time you collect user information, you should have an easily accessible privacy statement that addresses what you collect, how you use it, and under what circumstances, if any, you disclose it.  If completing a form means you’ll add their email address to your newsletter system, for example, that needs to be clear.  This is important for public instances and when you use Jira for customer support.
  • Consider your audience
    As with everything web related, create forms with the end user and their specific goals in mind.  You may need separate forms for existing customers, new prospects, or different situations.  Don’t try to serve all users and all conditions with the same form.

Jira Service Desk

With Jira Service Desk, you have a different audience to consider.  In Jira, the create form should be as short as possible.  But in Jira Service Desk, it’s important to collect all the important details up front, to avoid multiple rounds of follow-up questions.  This is especially important when working with external customers in different time zones.

Use the Jira tips above and these additional tips for JSD.

1. Use “Introduction text” to provide portal instructions

Enter a custom message to help users understand support options and share additional help resources. The intro message is especially important when there are multiple Service Desk portals. Intro message space is available in addition to the temporary announcement banner. (Both are pictured below.) Visit Project Settings > Portal settings to enter introduction text.

Sample Portal Introduction Message

2. Use the “Description” field to help users select the correct form

Add a short description for each request form, so users can determine the best selection for their request.

Sample Form Description

Always provide a selection for “all other requests”. In the screenshot above, there’s a generic form titled “Get IT help.”

3. Use the “Help and instructions” field to set request expectations

Enter custom instructions for each request form so users know what information is needed and how long it usually takes to receive a response. In the screenshot below, the user can expect help within 2 hours for this type of support request.

Sample Request Message

4. Customize field labels and add field descriptions

In JSD you can customize a Jira field’s label. For example, I often change the default “Summary” label to the more descriptive “Summarize the problem.”

Similarly, you can also customize field descriptions. Use the Jira field description for Jira users and tailor language in the Portal to that audience.

Custom Field Labels and Descriptions

5. Group forms by request type

In my former role as a web developer, I always considered a user’s capacity for processing information. Too many form choices can overwhelm a user. If you have more than 5 request forms, use the JSD “groups” feature to categorize the list.

Five Sample Form Categories

6. Use unique form icons

Each request form has an icon. Make each unique and choose icons that visually communicate what each request form is for. If you can’t find the right icon, you can make your own. Atlassian recommends a 20px grid with 24px padding. Read more

Finally, and most importantly, make it easy, intuitive, and painless to complete Jira screens and Jira Service Desk request forms.  The process should be simple for all users.

OTHER ARTICLES IN THIS SERIES:

Efficient Jira Screens and Jira Service Desk Request Forms

When I became a Jira administrator, the most confusing part of project administration was how screens, screen schemes, and issue type screen schemes worked together. Huh? All I wanted to do was to change a few fields around and instead, I found myself lost in a confusing combination of settings that didn’t make any sense to me. Shouldn’t it be easier? Once I understood the relationship however, I saw how powerful these settings are when they work together. Let’s start out with some simple definitions.

Screens

Screens define which fields are present and their display order. Jira Server and Jira Cloud “Classic” projects have four types of screens. They are:

  1. Create: A screen for creating a new issue
    • This screen collects the initial information from the Reporter. It often contains just a few of the most important and required fields.
  2. Edit: A screen for editing an existing issue
    • This screen contains all the fields a user is able to complete or update.
  3. View: A screen for viewing an issue’s details
    • This screen contains all the fields a user is able to view.
    • Note: Jira Server and Jira Cloud “Classic” projects only display fields that have data. For example, if the “Due Date” field is empty, you won’t see it on an issue’s view screen.
  4. Transition: A screen that is displayed during a workflow transition
    • This screen is often used to collect or update data at different points in an issue’s lifecycle. For example, the “Resolution” field value is collected before an issue reaches its final workflow status.
    • Tip: Distinguish your transition screens from other screens by naming them with a “(T)”. Example screen name: Assignment (T). See screenshot.
Image: A transition screen’s name is signified with “(T)”

You can have one screen, or one set of screens, for all issues in your project. Or you can have different screens for each issue type. We’ll talk more about that in the “Issue Type Screen Scheme” section below.

Jira Cloud “Next-gen” projects work differently however. There’s just one screen per project or per issue type and no distinction between the create, edit, and view operations. “Next-gen” projects treat empty fields differently as well. An empty field displays with the word “None” below it, as pictured.

Image: The “Start Date” field is empty, but displayed in a Jira Cloud “Next-gen” project

Fields and Ordering

In all versions of Jira, screens display both standard and custom fields.
Some fields can be ordered as desired by rearranging them on the admin view of the screen.  Other fields are automatically placed and grouped together. For example, all user-picker fields (“Assignee”, “Reporter”, etc) appear together on the right side of an issue’s screen. All date fields (“Due Date”, “Created Date”, “Updated Date”) also appear together on the right.

Screen Schemes

Jira Server and Jira Cloud “Classic” projects have Screen Schemes.
Remember the “create”, “edit”, and “view” operations above? This scheme associates one or more screens with an operation.

In this simple example, there’s one screen for each operation.

Image: The “Epic Screen Scheme” uses the screen called “Epic: Create, Edit and View” for all operations

In this more complex example, there is one screen for the “create” operation and another screen for the “edit” and “view” operations.

Image: The “Bug Screen Scheme” used the “Bug: Create” screen for the create operation and the “Bug: Edit and View” screen for the other operations.

A Screen Scheme can have as little as one screen shared by all operations or as many as three screens, with one screen for each operation.

Why Multiple Screens?

I recommend starting with one screen shared by the “create”, “edit”, and “view” operations in your project. If that screen becomes cluttered with too many fields, or if information needs to be collected during different stages of the workflow, then consider using multiple screens.

Issue Type Screen Schemes

Jira Server and Jira Cloud “classic” projects also have one final setting called an Issue Type Screen Scheme. This scheme associates screens with different issue types. Just like you can have different screens for different operations, you can have one set of screens for your Bugs, one set for your Stories, and another set for your Tasks.

This Issue Type Screen Scheme has two Screen Schemes. The Bug issue type uses the “Bug Screen Scheme” which has two screens. The Epic issue type uses the “Epic Screen Scheme” which has one screen.

Image: The Bug issue type has three bug-specific screens. The Epic issue type has only one epic-specific screen.

Tying it Together

Screens, Screen Schemes, and Issue Type Screen Schemes work together to power your project. Atlassian explains this relationship in this diagram.

It look me a long time to understand these concepts. I recommend you re-read this article and experiment in your own Jira test environment, until the relationship between these settings is clear.

Jira Service Desk Request Forms

If you have Jira Service Desk, there’s another type of “screen” to be aware of. When Service Desk Agents login to Jira, they see the typical Jira screens described above. When Service Desk Customers login to the Customer Portal however, they see request forms.

Request forms provide a simpler and streamlined issue view, which is great for less technical audiences. Customers need no Jira knowledge to use the portal to submit their request.

In the example below, the left image shows a default Jira create screen, which contains 21 fields. The right image shows a default Jira Service Desk change request form, which contains only 10 fields. Which one looks easier to complete?

Image: A Jira change request create screen (left) and a Jira Service Desk change request form (right)

Best Practices

Make your screens and schemes as easy, efficient, and reusable as possible. Here are some recommendations:

As With all Forms

  • Don’t collect data you won’t query on or actually use
  • List fields in the order a user would likely supply the information
  • Order fields consistently between issues types in a project and between projects. Users expect and appreciate a standard.
    • Example: The “Summary” field is always first, the “Description” field is always second, etc.

For Jira Server and Jira Cloud “Classic” Projects

  • Use a single screen for all operations (“create”, “edit”, “view”) until there’s a real need for additional screens.
    • Consider additional screens when there are too many fields or if information needs to be collected during different stages of the workflow.
  • On the “create” screen:
    • Only include the most important and required fields. Too many fields overwhelm users. Too many fields also impacts loading and performance.
    • Only include fields relevant to the Reporter. For example, if a business team member is reporting a Bug, they can’t provide an effort estimate and won’t know which code version is impacted. Don’t show the “Story Points”, “Original Estimate” or “Affects Version” fields. Instead, add these fields to your “edit” and “view” screens. You can also prompt a development team member for that information, later in the workflow, using a “transition” screen.
  • Create a single screen and a single screen scheme, for all issue types, until more are needed.
    • Example: You want the custom fields “Steps to Reproduce” and “Expected Result” on a Bug’s “create” screen, but not on a Story’s “create” screen.
    • Example: Create one standard for all development projects and another standard for support projects, not one custom configuration per Jira project.
  • Create generic screens and schemes so they can be shared between projects.

Other articles in this series: